“Hate to pile on, but I'd be interested in knowing what you'd do if you encountered a case of demon-possession.”
TRUTH UNITES... AND DIVIDES SAID:
“Along with Rhology, what do you think of all the Protestant missionaries who encounter demon-possession in the third-world countries they're at?__Or in other words, suppose you went on an overseas mission trip and you witnessed a demon-possession along with the local missionary stationed there. What would you do in that situation?”
i) Since I’ve never been in that situation, I don’t know for sure what would work. I might have to improvise.
That said, these are the operating assumptions I’d bring to my initial encounter:
ii) The NT doesn’t explicitly authorize Christians to expel demons. In the absence of explicit Scriptural authorization, I wouldn’t presume to boss the demon around. I wouldn’t command it to leave the demoniac. I wouldn’t pretend to be some sort of authority-figure in relation to the demon.
iii) However, we can always pray. We can pray for people (at a distance), and we can also with them (if they’re lucid and cooperative) or over them (if they’re unresponsive).
iv) I’d bring some other Christians along with me. Corporate prayer. We might also work in relays–if need be.
v) I wouldn’t get into an argument with the demon. I don’t have any power over the demon. So I don’t think a successful exorcism depends on my relationship with the demon. On my personal clout. I’m in no position to issue orders. I’m not Jesus or one of the apostles. I can’t throw my weight around in the presence of the dark side.
vi) Apropos (v), instead of addressing the demon, I’d address God. I think a successful exorcism depends on my relationship with God. God is the authority-figure in this transaction, not me. God has the power over the demon, not me.
vii) I’d do other things to make the demon uncomfortable. We could sing hymns. Read passages of Scripture aloud. Take turns. Work in shifts. Hold an informal church service in the bedroom of the demoniac.
viii) I don’t think it’s necessary to raise my voice. I don’t think a demon is hard of hearing. And we don’t need to yell for God to hear us either. And our prayers are directed at God, not the demon.
No reason to turn an exorcism into a shouting match. That may make for good movies, but I know see how it’s relevant to a successful exorcism.
ix) If the demoniac has lucid moments, I’d try to involve the demoniac in the process. Invite him to pray with me. Repeat Scripture after me.
x) In the case of a hex, it may be necessary to destroy the talisman.
xi) It’s also important to have a follow-up ministry. Aftercare. Discipleship. Friendship. The fellowship of the saints.
xii) Since an exorcist is exposing himself to direct confrontation with the dark side, he also needs to be very attentive to his own devotional life. For there’s a sense in which he’s leaving himself open to counterattack.